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One mum struggles to keep her cool

The problem with being a mum of a school-age kid is that you get unwittingly dragged (kicking and screaming, sometimes) into voluntary jobs and events that do not sit well with a) the person you used to be before you popped one out, and b) your day job.

It’s all very well when they are under-five and you can chip about with your posh buggy in interesting kimonos and capri pants. It actually makes you feel quite young and chipper, all that business, and I’m sure Victoria Beckham will be busting out some seriously enviable ‘new mum’ ensembles when Harper Seven gets to run around on Malibu Beach, or wherever.

When they start school, there’s a whole different vibe to contend with. I try to keep a tight grip on the ‘real’ me, but I’ll admit that sometimes the mum bit takes over and I find myself cramming my work (and shopping schedule) around sports days, summer fairs, lolliprotests (seriously), PTA meetings and (gulp) cake sales.

The only way I find I can cope (and sleep at night) is to dress for all of the above events in my normal, slightly OTT stylee. At least that way I get to regain some of my self composure – and can kid myself that I have a little bit of street cred (ha!) left.

I also have a very important rule; always volunteer for the job that involves serving alcohol. That way, you can play the role of a cheery barmaid. I’ve just run the fourth Pimm’s stall in a row for the annual summer fair. The first year (armed with lots of Pimm’s paraphernalia that the old man “acquired” from a boozer), people thought me and Mr. Fashion Detective were Pimm’s employees. That, my friends, is the desired effect.

Deffo Pimm’s o’ clock (photo by Robert Worby)
Written by Johanna Payton